Caftans scream VACATION! Which is probably why I wanted to make this one in time for my vacay next month. I don't know about you, but on vacation I want to be cute but also comfortable and a caftan is the perfect balance between the two.
I was immediately drawn to this large scale floral crepe de chine because cobalt blue is one of my favorite colors and the turquoise and chartreuse flowers really made it pop. Also this large scale print is perfect for a caftan, duster or maxi dress where the large pattern pieces don't chop up the flowers. This colorway is sold out, but there are several more crepe options here.
Fabric Mart states that the difference between crepe and crepe de chine is that the later has a slight less textured feel and that is true of this fabric. It retains the lightless and floaty-ness of a crepe, but isn't as pebbled in texture.
Due to the large pattern pieces I wasn't too strategic with the pattern placement of the main front and back pieces. I did cut the front bodice pieces and the front panels on a single layer as I didn't want those pieces to be too busy or in a dead spot. I also trimmed about 1" off the hem as I wanted to wear this with flats or low wedges (again comfort!).
There is some hand sewing involved for the attaching the front panel facing. Simplicity's instructions have you fold over the seam allowance, press and hand sew the entire facing. Having made Closet Case's Charlie Caftan in the past, I remembered they used another method that reduced the amount of hand sewing necessary so I dug out that pattern and used their method. Honestly it's a minimal amount so either approach is quick and easy.
This is only the second caftan I've sewn (see the first here) but it will definitely not be my last. Caftans may be my official outfit of summer!